Blue is the Colour

Blue is the Colour

The colour of the old British passport has recently become a source of great discussion, with some agreeing with the Home Office’s assertion that they were blue, and others certain that they used to carry a black passport. The old cover design for the British passport was introduced in 1920 and the design remained mostly unchanged until their replacement by the now familiar burgundy in 1988. The image above should prove the Home Office’s original statement to be correct.  Selly Manor Museum’s ‘Sir Adrian Cadbury Archive’ is in possession the passports of Laurence Cadbury. The dates of these passports range from 1921 until the 1980s, and they are all navy blue.

Laurence Cadbury’s passports show off his impressive travels to all corners of the world, from ‘The Gold Coast’ (now Ghana) in 1934, to New Zealand in 1962, and many more places in-between. What makes them so fascinating is that each one features dozens of stamps from each country Laurence Cadbury visited.

The Sir Adrian Cadbury Archive, primarily containing the papers relating to his father Laurence Cadbury, is being catalogued by Branwen, a second year history student at The University of Birmingham. Over the coming months Branwen will continue to share some of her find through the Selly Manor Museum website and through social media.